Most of us are familiar with the phrase “...knight in shining armor”.
People use the phrase because, in medieval times, knights were the epitome of valor, prestige, and class.
Typical medieval knights go into battle with swords and horses, but many of their deeds are told in folklore, myths, and legends.
Here are five simple, often missed truths about knights:
#1 Knights' armor was not as heavy as some movies depict
In numerous Hollywood depictions of knights from past centuries, we tend to see metal armor that looks pretty heavy. You would immediately expect that their armor is inconvenient for anything asides from protection from falling hard in battle.
However, research shows that the armor of an average English medieval knight weighed anywhere between 45-55lbs.
Meanwhile, a 2017 Government Accountability Office report stated that US marines carry an average load of 117lbs when fully geared up (119lbs average for an Army soldier).
The knights of old could do a lot within their armor; run, climb walls, train, and even jump on horses easily.
#2. Not just anyone could become a knight.
For the most part, knighthood was bestowed upon persons from families with renown, whether from combat, financial or political prowess.
The medieval knights were in an elite ranking that could be revered as today’s military generals or colonels.
But with the added advantage of sometimes becoming a knight by family lineage and not just personal achievements.
Knights could lead the way in battle and still be called upon to attend to matters of state as assigned by the king.
#3. Female knights existed
There were women who became knights. One particular case occurred in Catalonia, Spain. The Order of the Hatchet was a female honorific order founded in 1149 to honor women who fought in defense of the town of Tortosa.
More such orders existed in medieval history, with the title sometimes referred to as “Damehood.”
#4. The evolution of weaponry ended the knights.
It is well documented that knights are significantly identified by their swords, armor, and horse. Well, the era when the sword was the most lethal weapon in close combat ended around the 12th century.
The gradual sophistication of the crossbow and the introduction of gunpowder weaponry would slowly but surely reduce the dread knights previously enjoyed in battle.
#5. Knights still exist today.
Undoubtedly, anyone alive today would love to see an actual knight from the medieval era glide past on his horse on a chill morning.
While we can’t have that today - unless we walk into some Jumanji-like world - there are actual knights among us.
Knighthood is an honorary role for persons who have exhibited great character or amassed some great achievement in specific endeavors.
For example, British citizens who have distinguished themselves are regularly chosen and knighted by the crown.
The knights from history are responsible for many concepts applied in the art of war and defense strategies today. And at the same time, they receive credit for many concepts in etiquette and manners. Such a mix is quite intriguing. Is there something about knights you didn’t find on our list? Share with us.